Cockburn Town, Turks & Caicos
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British crown colony of more than 40 islands and small cays (only eight of which are inhabited). They offer numerous national parks, beautiful white sand beaches, nature reserves, sanctuaries and historical sites. Despite an increase in tourist numbers and a banking and insurance boom, the islands remain largely uncommercialized and unspoilt with small, personal places to stay and a heavy emphasis on ecotourism.
The town of Cockburn Harbour is located on the island of South Caicos and is the administrative capital and the historic and cultural center of the islands. It is strongly reputed to be the landfall island of Columbus during his discovery of the New World in 1442. It was also once a hideout for the infamous Carribean pirates, as well as the chief port for the shipment of salt from the islands.
Today the town is a quiet and pleasant place with numerous beaches to explore and superb diving, yachting and big-game fishing. There is an abundance of old buildings, walls and gates, old salt warehouses and many colourful boats of many types docked in the harbour. The local cuisine features seafood such as conch and lobster. Worth trying is Dora's, which is famous for lobster sandwiches and Love's for a coconut rum with a splash of pineapple juice.
Things to See & Do
* Columbus National Park
* Walking tour of Duke & Front Streets
* Turks & Caicos National Museum
* Cockburn Town Post Office
* Diving, yachting & big-game fishing
Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – US Dollar (USD; symbol US$)
Language – English
Land Area – 500 sq km’s
Population – 3,700
Electricity – 2 perpendicular flat pins USA style or with a round pin below
Time – GMT minus five hours
International Country Telephone Code – 1 + 649
Port Location – Cockburn Harbour (South Caicos), Grank Turk, Providenciales and Salt Cay. Harbour facilities on South Caicos are currently being improved. There are plans to build a new port on North Caicos.The archipelago is off the beaten track for most major cruise lines. However, Fred Olsen Cruises sail to the islands. Boats can be chartered to sail to islands in the Bahamas or Haiti.
Transport Links - Grand Turk airport is 3.2km (2 miles) south of Cockburn Town. There are direct flights from the UK, Canada, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti. Caicos Airways runs a regular air-taxi service to all the inhabited islands, as well as flights to Cap Haïtien, Nassau and Puerto Plata. Charter flights are also available.
There are limited coast-hopping and inter-island services. Boats may be chartered at most of the inhabited islands. Taxis are vailable at most airports, but the supply may be limited and sharing is often necessary. Rental cars are available from some local firms on Grand Turk, Providenciales, and North and South Caicos.